Couch to 5K
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still not started the c25k = anxiety, agoraphobia

I remember years ago wanting to give up smoking and always saying next week, next month, tomorrow etc. By the time the self-promised dead line arrived I just didn't feel ready.

Anyway, I woke up one and day and thought to myself. "Today is the day". And that was that. Instinctively I knew that was it.. and it was.

I wish I could feel the same about the c25k.

I DO wish I had someone to run with, but it is just so convenient to just step out the door when you have the time and are ready without waiting for a certain time or day. I say I wish I had someone to run with but what I WANT is to be brave enough to run alone. I just keep remembering the terror of my last panic attack out running :( All doc's tests say I am very healthy! I guess it's just my brain trying to protect me from perceived 'danger' that I have experienced before... good old brain... doing what it is supposed to do BUT it doesn't know that it really is ok now. There there brain, it's fine,thanks for helping protect me but let me show you it really is ok. Ha! I can say the words but believing it and putting it into practice will take great focusing and courage.

I've been running to the shop and back as little testers, results were just a bit achey in my shoulders that went after stopping. The cold is off putting too! what a time of year to start!

I'm hoping something will trigger me to start out there today!

9 Replies

I have no first hand experience of panic attacks so I cant really relate to that (sorry!), but for a 30 something trying to get fit its still a case of mind over matter for me to get out the house and get my legs moving.

You've made a great start by running to the shops, could you extend these runs a bit? Or start of walking a route and slowly build up? I have faith you can do it, there's no harm in taking baby steps, and we'll all be here with you in spirit if not in person x


Also not much experience with panic attacks but can relate to that putting it off feeling. Maybe you could start by just going for a walk and doing one 60sec run. Then next time add it another. Do it really slowely so you mind/body desn't get to really realise what you're doing until you've done it. And like Slater says we'll be here every inch of the way with you even if it's ony vitually. You can done it we have fatih in you.


Thanks Slater - just looking at your blog I thank you for sharing the phrase "everytime you run, you win" ! I like that! That phrase will def help my frame of mind today :)

I think it will def be baby steps. If the 1st 5 minutes is warm up walking- maybe even doing that today may be a good place to start ........and then see how I feel for the first running bit and see how that goes? That really is baby steps!lol. But thanks tho,if you hadn't responded I never would have thought to break it down that much ie: to the extent of breaking up the very first session into a step at a time! lol oh dear! :)


Hi mundomagic, welcome to the forum. First of all, well done - you have started the work already. You've done testers and that is a great way to start. Many of us do something similar before we actually start the program proper. If you can run to the shops I'm sure that physically you could manage Week1. So well done for getting yourself ready to take the next step.

I cant imagine how hard it must be for you to go outside, so I hope these ideas help.

I suggest you plan your route so that you feel comfortable with where you are going to run. A small park near your home is ideal especially if there are others there exercising. Some will be much less fit than you and not even able to run because of illness etc. The main thing is that you feel comfortable and safe in yourself wherever you choose to run.

Have you tried going out with your MP3 player - I find listening to Laura & the podcasts that I forget what's round about me and its like having a friend alongside you encouraging you all the way. So maybe walk the route first listening to the podcast to give you confidence on what its like to be outside doing the runs. Its easier to walk away then if you do have a panic attack. If it helps do that several times so that your brain relaxes and recognises that this is going to be a regular activity. Maybe even walk the route on the days you're not running so that it becomes a daily activity.

The program is good in that it builds up gradually and if you feel you need to take it more slowly, that's fine. The program is just a structure to follow and you go at a pace that suits you physically & mentally.

September is also a great month to start - not too hot, not too cold - and by the time it gets to November you'll be so far on in the program that you wont notice the cold after a few minutes.

Good luck & do let us know how it goes!


I'll second what everyone else says. Just take it nice and slow and you will get there in the end. Running with Laura on the podcast is almost like running with a friend ... but without the hassle of stressing about keeping up or holding them back. Good luck!


Well - the sun is shining, it's a bit less windy and I am about to get changed to go out for the first time. It's 20mins! phew, I thought it was 30! I've got to goto the post office anyway, somehow I'll fit that in to the 20 mins and join in if I feel ok. It sounds strange but I am putting on my normal(ish) clothes for this to keep things 'normal'. o god - here I go - sweaty hands already!


Welcome and looking forward to a great report! When you are out, think of all of us! We are your friends here and with you in spirit as you begin this journey. Take it slow and try to relax. If you can give up smoking, then you can do this! I am an x-smoker and couch potato who is now in week 7. Wishing you well! :-)


I can sympathise with the panic attacks :-(

I can see from your post that you already know it's just your brain playing games with you but it's hard to overcome that. I don't find it surprising that you associate your panic attacks with runing. Those panic attack symptoms of struggling to get your breath are just what you get to when you are running! But with running that shortness of breath is entirely appropriate .... and isn't going to kill you like your brain is telling you :-)

Have you thought about getting a treadmill? There will be a few on here who have done the C25K using a treadmill. I did for the first 6 weeks until it blew up ;-) and I was ready to run outside by then.

In my, non medical!, opinion this could really help you tackle your panic attacks. Panic attacks are frauds and cowards. Just have a sit down now and try and force one ... bet you can't. They just hide until you are not ready ... or don't want one. By going running you will create the symptoms ... and know that you are creating those symptoms ... and know that the symptoms are perfectly healthy and normal ... and know that each time the symptoms come they will also go away ... and that by running you are improving your blood pressure and lung capacity and resting heart rate that will all lead to a reduction in those symptoms coming back at you unexpected.

All the best :-)


Aw thanks pastyman (ha!great name!) - it is nice to hear from someone who understands. I was feeling a bit freakish feeling like the only one in here with an over sensitive amygdala!

Thank you for your 'non-medical' opinion. It's true and I think you are right in the fact that getting fitter will mean less sensitivity or better tolerance of the physical changes that go on in anxiety and panic.

I almost feel like copying your post out onto a card to take with me! I may!

One of the reasons I am doing the C25K is to tackle my agoraphobia. I share my boyfriend's turbo trainer on my bike and have been using that (cough cough, occasoionally) for exercising at home and feeling safe. It's been pretty good watching videos doing that! I think if there are days I REALLY can't manage I may use that. Or like yesterday, my first day, I finished the final 3 runs in the house, up the stairs and hall etc! But simply I haven't got a place for a treadmill really, but maybe that is a good thing!

Thanks for posting here :) very kind of you


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